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Reflections on Philosophy March 23, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Mindfulness, People, Spirit & Ego.

Some study philosophy and philosophers to display their facility with rote memorization and regurgitation of the thoughts of others.

Others study philosophy and philosophers to learn how to think for themselves.

Independent thinking is not easy, especially if we choose to swim against the stream of societal expectations . . . but it’s worth it. 

After all, our freedom is at stake.

Quote:  Trust yourself and you will know how to live. ~ Goethe

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  To Lie, Or Not To Lie *  You Can’t Handle The Truth * The Awakening by Sonny Carroll * Know Thyself ~ The Oracle At Delphi * I think . . . therefore, I am * Be Absolutely Determined * Water Over The Dam


1. Debra - March 23, 2011

yes it is well worth it and takes patience to unlearn . thanks Nancy 🙂

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

Thanks, Debra.

Societal conditioning starts before we’re even toilet trained . . . and we know our survival depends on the continued approval of our parents, teachers, relatives, etc.

Shrugging that off and learning to look within for guidance takes patience and perseverence.

2. Greg Camp - March 23, 2011

To quote a Rush song, “Some worldviews are spacious, and some are merely space.” The key is to figure out how to evaluate what we read. Even a poorly constructed philosophy provides the chance to use critical reasoning skills, if we have them. I got my start with Plato and the Tao Te Ching early on, and I’ve been off-kilter ever since.

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

What a combo ~ Plato and the Tao Te Ching! 😎

Being off kilter has its benefits . . . it keeps us on our toes, no matter what life throws our way.

oldancestor - March 23, 2011

He listens to Rush and reads up on Taosim. I knew I liked this guy for a reason.

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

It’s interesting to see the twists and turns our lives have taken . . . where they intersect and where they diverge. 🙂

3. Carol Ann Hoel - March 23, 2011

Before I was old enough to check out philosophies, I’d already become a Christian and knew what I believed and how I wanted to live. I’ve not been sorry. God is good. Since then I have been exposed to different philosophies, none of which has changed my mind. Each person must find his/her own way. It’s a good thing to choose wisely and live with purpose. Blessings to you, Nancy…

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

Thanks, Carol Ann.

My earliest “philosophy” was the Christian religion. It didn’t suffice for me. I had to keep searching. Now, I see the horizon and the way teaches me the way.

Blessings to you.

oldancestor - March 23, 2011

I’m glad we all have the freedom to make those choices.

Now if only we could all learn to be civil toward each other.

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

If only. 😀

4. Cindy - March 23, 2011

I just try, always, to keep my mind open to new information; we’re never to old to learn.

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

I loved Sidey’s story today about her friend who claimed that nothing surprises here these days . . . only to be surprised seconds later.

Such synchronicity. 😀

5. Penny - March 23, 2011

We must think for ourself,life can get weary along our trodden path, but to realize we hold the key to our choices and the paths we choose to travel.I am thankful I have the freedom to make my own choices. 🙂

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

Thanks, Penny. I agree.

Majoring in philosophy served to make me aware of logical construct and reason ~ not to win arguments with others . . . but to make decisions for myself with a greater degree of confidence.

6. libraryscene - March 23, 2011

Quick story..had to smile when I saw your post, since today, I found myself at the used bookstore on lunch in the philosophy section (to see if I could muster another go at it all..makes my brain hurt, but I figure its growing pains…) anyhoo, I go to leave and excuse myself around a man whose entered the area only to find it’s an old boss of mine. His comment, “in all my life, I’ve never ran into someone I know in the philosophy section” it made me laugh..you’d thought we were in the “adult only” section, lol! (sorry for long post!)

nrhatch - March 23, 2011

That made me smile ~ meeting in the philosophy section where who knows what thoughts will be unleased. 😉

Sandra Bell Kirchman - March 24, 2011

Is it a breach of blog etiquette to write long posts? Boy, am I ever an evil blog answerer then. I get carried away by exciting topics and then want to share my experiences. Gonna shut up now!

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Sandra ~ No rules. Just write!

Posts vary in length depending upon the blogger, the blog, and the topic under discussion. But in a post espousing the thought THINK FOR YOURSELF . . . I wasn’t about to do the thinking for you. 😉

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

OK. I’m awake now. You meant blog comments, not posts.

Comments also range in length. If they are related to the subject matter, make it as long as you want. Lots of folks share stories and insights in the comments and that makes blogging fun.

7. viewfromtheside - March 24, 2011

Learning how to think, and when one discovers a truth for now, not to believe that it is the truth for ever. Constant re-evaluation of beliefs and the basis of decisions is important to me.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Absolutely critical, Sidey. That’s one of my main complaints about religion . . . slow to face facts.

Adam and Eve was a lovely story and plausible explanation until scientists revealed that we evolved from apes rather than springing from Adam’s Rib. Now, it’s just a lovely story . . . a Fairy Tale.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

And if the Bible is wrong about that . . . what other fallacies lie between its covers?

8. adeeyoyo - March 24, 2011

I have always questioned everything and some of my school teachers hated me for it.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

That’s sad. My teachers often encouraged me to hold my questions, so they could finish the lesson, but they took the time to talk with me after class. Overall, I had wonderful teachers.

9. Sandra Bell Kirchman - March 24, 2011

My husband was like adeeyoyo and questioned many things that didn’t make sense. He once questioned a teacher on arriving at the solution to a mathematical problem. The teacher told him he couldn’t possibly solve it the way he was doing it. Hubby showed him. From then on, the teacher never called on him or answered his questions. What a shame that teachers feel threatened by the brightness of some of their students.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Are you serious? That teacher is NO TEACHER.

In law school, our Torts professor tossed out an observation. I debated his conclusion with him. He insisted he was right, citing his years of experience in the field and my recent admission to the law school. After class, I talked to him some more, explaining in detail why I disagreed with him. He listened, went back to his office, mulled over my comments and eventually agreed with me.

He was one of my favorite professors ~ not because he agreed with me . . . but because he listened, re-evaluated, and didn’t have to be “right” all the time.

That’s the sign of a true teacher.

10. Tilly Bud - March 24, 2011

My son is studying philosophy to make him a better politician when the time comes.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Philosophy is wonderful preparation for a career in law or politics. Make sure he studies Ethics! We need ethical politicians.

11. Pseu - March 24, 2011

Both my boys study philosophy at school and I feel it is a fantastic subject which teaches so many skills. But sometimes their talk about things so above my head I can’t join in!

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

I find that if people are spitting out the names and theories of individual philosophers that I’m not much interested in joining in. 😉

But a meaty debate on Ethics . . . aah!

12. flyinggma - March 24, 2011

I never had a philosophy class in college but had an ethics class in place of it. Unfornately there wasn’t much room for open discussion of ideas. It was the instructor’s way or the highway. No freedom of expression allowed other than his opinion.

It could have been a much better class were we allowed to openly discuss ideas and share with others how we formed our ideas on different subjects. How did our personal experiences affect our positions?? It would have been interesting to follow someone else’s thought processes to gain some insight.

Me…I just keep reading, learning, and changing daily. Trying to be a better me than the day before. Not always possible if I have a bad attitude for the day. Got to get past that to learn more.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

That’s too bad ~ Ethics is a wonderful topic to explore when our thoughts are not constrained by an “instructor” who professes to have all the answers.

I loved majoring in Philosophy in college because of the flow and exchange of ideas and thoughts between students and teacher.

13. Tammy McLeod - March 24, 2011

Ahh. that is a quote that I was supposed to read this morning. Thank you Nancy.

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Excellent! The more we look to our inner wisdom for answers, the easier life becomes.

14. granny1947 - March 24, 2011

What a brilliant quote…may I borrow it? 🙂

nrhatch - March 24, 2011

Absolutely. Goethe won’t mind a bit. 😀

15. Responding by Rote is not a conversation | Spread Information - March 28, 2011

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